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Duty of care: aged care sector in crisis 15.53 MB

When CEDA last looked at the aged care workforce, they forecast there would be a need for an additional 17,000 direct care workers each year over the coming decade. Less than a year later, this annual shortfall has doubled due to a combination of challenging circumstances and a lack of action. Now we are expecting an annual shortfall of 30,000 to 35,000 direct care workers.

If workforce shortages at this level continue, Australia will not have enough workers to meet the basic standards of care recommended by the Royal Commission. Miniscule levels of migration and increased levels of attrition in the sector, estimated to be around 65,000 workers a year, have exacerbated existing shortages. This is no longer a problem for the future, it is a critical issue that needs to be tackled immediately.

This paper updates the workforce projections of CEDA’s Duty of care report, released in August 2021, based on the latest information and industry consultation. It finds that filling the growing shortfall in the aged care workforce is a task that is escalating each day. Filling this shortfall will not be achieved without determined and consistent effort. Urgent implementation of the recommendations made in CEDA’s Duty of care report is necessary.

Improving the quality of care for older generations is a social imperative as well as an economic one. The sector receives more than $22 billion of government funding per year, supports more than 1.3 million people receiving some form of care service and employs more than 360,000 people.

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